Glasgow’s conference kiss

The close working partnership between private and public sector has
helped establish Glasgow as one of the UK’s leading destinations for
conferences and major events.

From identifying potential conferences years in advance to lobbying
associations, marketing the city and organising site visits through to
secondary marketing and civic receptions, key industry players in
Glasgow are working in close partnership to make things easy for
organisers.

More than 300 businesses servicing the conference industry are members
of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau’s Convention Bureau. This network
assists conference committees in the tendering process and GCMB’s
Conference Accommodation Booking Service allows organisers to block
book rooms.

The Team Glasgow approach, perfected when the city successfully bid to
host the 2014 Commonwealth Games, has allowed the city to react quickly
in difficult times.

This year, leading Glasgow hotels, supported by GCMB, launched a
value-added package to make Glasgow even more competitive to conference
organisers during the credit crunch.

For residential conferences of more than 250 in 2009, delegates will
get a free Burns Supper of haggis, tatties (potatoes), neeps (turnips),
whisky and a piper. And throughout this year and 2010, new residential
conferences of any size will receive a free alcoholic or soft drink for
delegates and partners of delegates will get free accommodation.

Team Glasgow has a proven track record: four conferences, the World
Congress on Pain, the International Confederation of Midwives, the
International Astronautical Congress, and the European Sleep Research
Society conference, attracted record numbers of delegates.

Chairman of the World Congress on Pain, Sir Michael Bond, said:
“Considerable credit for the high degree of success of (the conference)
must go to the City Marketing Bureau which provided superb support both
before and during the event.”

Malcolm Macmillan, the Royal College of Midwives project manager for
the ICM Congress, said: “The co-operation between the GCMB and the
Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and the sharing of the same
values about providing exceptional service were key factors in making
life less stressful over the past six years.”

The SECC, the UK’s largest integrated conference and exhibition centre
can host conferences for up to 10,000 delegates and specialist events
for up to 25,000.

Glasgow’s Concerts Halls are a group of three centres with 13 meetings rooms that is a popular venue for major conferences.

The main venue of this trinity is the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall,
Scotland’s premier concert venue which lies at the junction of main
shopping boulevards Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street, the two
self-contained auditoriums and four smaller spaces for up to 3,500.

Glasgow and the surrounding area have an abundance of unusual venues,
including Auchentoshan Distillery, 20 minutes from the city. It can
seat up to 80 people for a banquet or 100 theatre-style and delegates
can enjoy a whisky masterclass and tour of the distillery.

The Tall Ship, close to the SECC, is a refurbished clipper dating from
1896 with four meeting rooms that can host 200 theatre-style and 216
for a banquet.

Pollok House is a Georgian stately home set in parkland. Its library
has famous paintings by El Greco, and it has four meeting rooms for 100
theatre style.

Scotland’s national stadium, Hampden Park, has extensive conference
facilities which can host 600 people theatre-style. It is home to the
Scottish Football Museum.

Those who fancy their luck in the city centre might choose Glasgow’s
newest venue, the Alea Casino on the banks of the River Clyde.

For a cool alternative, try Xscape, the UK’s largest indoor real snow
slope, which has four dedicated conference suites that can hold up to
200 people theatre-style.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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